GR Gallery is pleased to announce “Apnea”, the first solo exhibition of Johan Van Mullem with the gallery. The show, organized by Russ Basin, explores the artist unique creative practice and inspirational process of estrange himself. Apnea will reveal the latest series of artworks conceived by the artist appositely for this occasion, together with some older iconic models. It will put together 25 original pieces, always executed with the artist’s signature gestural technique and striking early Rembrandtlike style. Together with different sizes of canvas works will be exhibited several preparatory drawings on paper.
The title is inspired by one the artist’s most fierce passion that becomes the only way to take an appropriate break from the aberrations and disorders of the contemporary world, a sort of underwater meditation. The paradoxical notion that the self-awareness and social examination can be found strictly through the absence of these systems is explored through his relationship with the act of painting. A process that allows Johan to take the proper distance and become free to put himself, through his forceful gesture and unbiased inspirations, completely into the creative process. As he explains: “All my work is done as unconsciously as possible. I never program a work or attempt to elaborate on a sketch. I never try to impose my feelings or ideas on a work. I always work the same way, by trying to feel the medium, the music, the silence, or the size, whether it is sculpture, drawing, or painting. It is a question of energy and discovering the moment. One must always reflect upon what they discovered, until something new appears.”
“Apnea” aims to showcase the exclusive creative approach of Master artist Johan Van Mullem by unveiling a lavish selection of works that epitomize his carrier, marked by unique introspective psychological portraits slightly reminiscent of the Renaissance Flemish school. With the aid of vigorous brushstrokes, his powerful and dramatic aesthetic research is delivered by a strong color contrast that make the artworks uncommonly vibrant and luminescent capable to issue a vital and up to date energy.